Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Following an emergency summit of euro zone leaders in Brussels yesterday, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said that Athens was seeking a 'final exit' from the crisis with a reform-for-aid proposal to be submitted by the end of the week. Adding that he was working for a socially just and economically viable agreement for Greece and the Eurozone, he underlined that the Greek plan included credible reforms, a pledge for sufficient coverage of the country’s funding needs, a strong investment package to deal with problems like unemployment and a start to talks on debt restructuring. "I’m happy to say that in the statements of my counterparts, I saw that they all understood we don’t have a Greek problem but a European problem which we’re all called to provide a solution for," he concluded.

Speaking at a news conference late on Tuesday, European Council President Donald Tusk said this was now the "most critical moment in the history of the Eurozone", adding that a Greek bankruptcy and a collapse of the Greek banking system would affect the whole of Europe, and that anyone who thought otherwise was naive. The President of the EU Commission Jean-Claude Juncker, who has worked to keep Greece in the euro, said he had detailed plans to cope with a "Grexit" if an agreement couldn’t be reached.

French President Francois Hollande said: "It's not just the problem of Greece - it's the future of the European Union" that is at stake. German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she hopes to receive from Greece adequate proposals for promoting reforms by Thursday, so that she can ask the German parliament to approve the restart of negotiations on a new, long-term support programme for Greece. She stressed that she respects the result of the Greek referendum but reminded that there are 18 other member-states in the Eurozone.

U.S. President Barack Obama spoke on the phone with the Greek PM yesterday and expressed Washington's "strong desire for a successful outcome" in the negotiations.